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Full text of "Elk Restoration in Missouri"

Elk Restoration in Missouri 




Prepared for Consideration 

by the Missouri Conservation Commission 

October 15, 2010 



Executive Summary 

Background 

Elk were found throughout Missouri prior to European settlement. Historical accounts indicate elk 
were likely extirpated from the state by 1865. Elk is a native species to Missouri, and restoring 
native species holds many benefits. Prompted by citizen requests, the Department conducted an 
elk reintroduction feasibiUty study in 2000. Results of the study indicated that elk restoration in 
Missouri was biologically feasible in portions of the Ozarks, and statewide the public supported the 
restoration of elk. Due to chronic wasting disease (CWD) and habitat concerns, the Conservation 
Commission suspended the Department's consideration of elk restoration in 2001 and directed 
staff to faciUtate additional discussions to determine if concerns regarding elk restoration could be 
addressed. 

Several factors have stimulated renewed interest in a Missouri elk restoration. Successfiil elk 
restorations in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania have generated 
considerable natural resource management, recreational, and economic benefits. These 
restorations have also resulted in the development of proven disease testing protocols with no 
known cases of diseases being introduced to livestock or wildlife. In addition, a live-animal test 
for CWD has been developed. 

Since the mid-1990's, significant habitat improvements, such as glade and woodland restoration 
and green-browse management, have occurred on conservation areas and other properties in the 
Peck Ranch Elk Restoration Zone. Glade and open woodland habitats provide an understory of 
herbaceous vegetation preferred by elk and other wildlife. 

A recent letter from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, continued citizen interest in elk 
restoration and questions from Conservation Commissioners stimulated a presentation at the July 
2010 Conservation Commission meeting. The presentation summarized the 2000 elk study and 
provided an update on the issues of habitat availability and chronic wasting disease. Following 
the presentation, the Conservation Commission directed Department staff to reinstate plan 
development. 

Elk Restoration Plan 

The elk restoration plan is based on current information and knowledge, incorporating the 
foUowing: 

1. A well-defined elk restoration zone in portions of Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds 
counties with characteristics of large public land ownership, Umited agricultural land, and 
few roads; 

2. Habitat management guidelines for improving elk habitat on private and pubUc land; 

3. Herd management guidelines including release protocols, population objectives, 
monitoring protocols, actions to address elk that leave the restoration zone to private land 
where they are not welcome, and hunting as the primary management tool; 

4. Health protocols, including animal health testing and a contingency plan, to ensure 
wildUfe and livestock remain healthy; and 



5. Public input by seeking comments through pub he meetings near the potential elk 
restoration zone and ongoing statewide requests for pubhc comments, and providing 
information to citizens and organizations. 

Elk Restoration Zone 

A defined geography around Peck Ranch and Current River Conservation Areas was identified 
in the 2000 elk reintroduction feasibility study as a potential restoration site. A similar 
restoration zone was chosen for the 2010 elk restoration plan. The proposed elk restoration 
zone covers parts of Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds counties and is bounded by pubhc roads, 
property boundaries, and other identifiable landscape features (Figure 1). This landscape was 
chosen because of: 

1 . Suitable habitat conditions, 

2. High pubhc land ownership and public access, 

3. Low public road density, 

4. Low density of row crops and hvestock, and 

5. Landowner support. 

The 346-square-mile elk restoration zone consists of land held in pubhc trust by the Missouri 
Department of Conservation, National Park Service and United States Forest Service 
(representing 49% of area). The Nature Conservancy (3% of the area) and Pioneer Forest, 
owned by the L-A-D Foundation (27% of the area), own and manage land in the proposed 
restoration zone and have provided written support for elk restoration. It is important to note that 
both ahow public access. As a result, 19% of the land in the proposed restoration zone provides 
public hunting access. In addition, other private landowners in the proposed restoration zone 
have voiced support for elk restoration. 

The proposed restoration zone is primarily forest and open woodland with scattered cool-season 
pasture, food plots, and old fields. An emphasis on glade and woodland management on 
Department lands and other properties since the mid-1990's has significantly improved habitat 
on this landscape for elk. The proposed elk restoration zone has hmited agricultural activity with 
virtually no row crops and some open pasture and hayfields. 

The restoration zone contains 33 miles of blacktop highway within the interior of the zone. 
Traffic surveys from the Missouri Department of Transportation indicate that vehicle volume on 
paved roads in the restoration zone is low when compared to other Missouri highways. In 2008, 
the average annual daily traffic volume on Highway 106 east of Eminence was 245 vehicles and 
Highway 106, just west of Ellington, averaged 386 vehicles per day. Highway 19 north of 
Eminence averaged 464 vehicles per day. Highway D, northwest of Van Buren, averaged only 
326 vehicles per day. 

Habitat Management Guidelines 

Elk use a variety of habitats, but a mix of forest and openings (dominated by grass and 
herbaceous plants) is ideal. Elk also use forest openings, glades and woodland habitats. Since 
the mid- 1 990 's habitat management on public lands and other properties have created woodland 
habitat that is conducive to numerous wildlife species, including elk. 



Woodland management involves tree thinning and periodic landscape-scale prescribed burning 
(500 to 5,500 acre bum units) to create an open canopy with dense ground flora dominated by 
forbs, grasses and sedges; a landscape producing desirable forage and cover for elk. This type of 
management is also beneficial to deer, turkey, and other wildlife species. Woodland 
management will continue to encourage elk to utilize pubUc lands. Other forest management 
practices, such as timber harvest and timber stand improvement, will continue as these practices 
enhance wildlife habitat and sustain forest health. 

The Department will continue to manage and improve green-browse plots on conservation areas 
in the elk restoration zone. The National Park Service has also expressed an interest in 
improving bottomland fields (i.e. overseeding, renovating old fields, etc.) in the Ozark National 
Scenic Riverways to provide desirable forage for elk and other wildlife. 

The Department continues to provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners 
seeking to improve wildlife habitat on their property. The restoration plan proposes working 
with other state fish and wildlife agencies to develop best management practices to minimize 
fence concerns. The restoration plan proposes establishing special habitat incentives for 
landowners in the elk restoration zone who are interested in improving habitat for elk on their 
property. Examples could include cost share for pasture conversion and providing legume seed 
for over-seeding existing pastures. 

Herd Management Guidelines 

SOURCE OF ELK, TRAPPING AND RELEASE: The number of elk proposed to be 
reintroduced the first year will depend on availability. A limited release of up to 150 elk in early 
201 1 is preferred. Following the health testing protocol, elk will be held in the state of origin for 
disease testing prior to relocation to Missouri. After disease testing is complete, elk will be 
transported by trailers to a holding pen on Department land in the proposed restoration zone. 

The plan recommends a "soft release" technique for reintroducing elk to the restoration area. In 
a soft release, elk would be held in a temporary holding facility. Prior to release, the health of 
the elk would be evaluated, the animals would be fitted with radio telemetry collars and 
microchips and given time to recover from transport and handUng stress before releasing from 
the holding facility. This type of release holds many benefits over a "hard release" where elk are 
simply transported to the site and immediately released. 

MONITORING: Survival, reproductive rates and population growth will be closely monitored. 
All elk released will be fitted with radio telemetry collars and their locations monitored regularly 
to determine movement and habitat use. Measurements of the demographics of the herd 
(survival and reproductive rates) will be used to develop a population model which will track the 
success of the restoration effort and guide future population management. 

HERD MANAGEMENT: Experience from eastern states shows that eastern elk behave differently 
than western elk because of favorable habitat and a mild climate. As a result, eastern elk do not 
make seasonal migrations to the extent that western elk do. In areas with quality habitat, which the 
proposed restoration zone offers, elk have smaller home ranges and exhibit less movement than 
in the western states. 



The Department has developed, and the plan proposes to strictly enforce, procedures to address 
elk that wander outside the proposed restoration zone onto private land where they are not 
welcome. As proposed, the Department will contact the landowner in follow up to concerns 
within 24 hours of being notified by the landowner. Department office phone numbers and 
conservation agent phone numbers are already provided as a public service to citizens. Department 
staff will use various methods, including trapping and relocating or euthanizing elk, to remove 
them from where they are not welcome. 

Hunting is proposed to be implemented as soon as possible after the elk become established. As 
part of the post-release monitoring, the Department will develop a population model that will 
allow prediction of population growth, determination of when a hunting season is appropriate 
and establishment of harvest quotas that will produce population levels compatible with available 
habitat and public interests. 

Experience from other eastern states has shown that managed hunts are effective at maintaining 
an appropriate population density. In Kentucky, hunters must draw for an elk permit inside the 
state's elk area where most elk occur. However, hunters may purchase an elk hunting permit to 
hunt elk outside the state's elk hunting zone where a few elk occur. This combination of liberal 
hunting outside the elk zone and controlled hunting in the zone has proven effective in managing 
Kentucky's elk herd and serves as an example to consider when elk hunting regulations are 
developed in Missouri. 

Health Testing Protocol 

Working in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and wildlife health experts 
from other states, the Department has developed stringent animal health testing guidelines to 
ensure that Missouri's wildlife and livestock remain healthy. The health protocol requires that 
all free-ranging elk brought into Missouri go through extensive disease testing prior to moving 
the animals into the state and prior to release. 

Free-ranging elk relocated into Missouri for the purposes of the proposed elk restoration must 
originate from a CWD-free state. Elk will be tested for CWD, brucellosis, blue tongue, 
anaplasmosis, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, vesicular stomatitis, Johne's disease and bovine 
tuberculosis prior to shipment to Missouri. 

Since 2000, there has been significant progress made in understanding chronic wasting disease, 
including a Uve-animal test for elk. Other states with successfiil elk restoration projects have 
followed similar health protocols that have resulted in no cases of disease transmission to 
livestock or wildlife. It is important to note the health testing protocol is more stringent / 
restrictive than animal movement protocols currently required to move livestock or captive elk 
into Missouri. 

Public Input 

Successfiil management of Missouri's natural resources involves a partnership with citizens, 
organizations, and agencies. The Department has actively engaged citizens and organizations 
to gather input on the proposed elk restoration plan. It is important to note that information 
gathering has specifically included many opportunities to ensure citizens within and around the 
proposed restoration zone had opportunity to comment. 

4 



Public input included three open house public meetings in the area of the potential restoration, 
local efforts by Department staff to meet with citizens and ongoing requests for public comment 
opportunities via internet, email and letters. Department staff also met with state and federal 
agencies, conservation and agricultural groups and other organizations to discuss the proposal 
and gather input. The Department has provided information to citizens via the Department 
website, two articles in the Missouri Conservationist, videos, and news releases and on both 
radio and television. 

The majority of comments received at the three public meetings near the proposed restoration 
zone were in favor of elk restoration. Local efforts by staff to meet with landowners in and 
around the restoration zone indicate most landowners support elk restoration. Statewide, many 
of the comments received support elk restoration. Reasons cited include restoring a native 
species, hunting, wildhfe viewing, and economic benefits. 

Some citizens are opposed to or have concerns with restoring elk to a defined geography in 
southeast Missouri. Reasons cited include potential property damage, vehicle collisions, animal 
health concerns, and restoration costs. Some also have concerns that elk may spread statewide. 

Recreational and Economic Benefits and Partnerships 

ECONOMIC BENEFITS: Experience from other states that have restored elk, such as Arkansas, 
Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, indicate that considerable economic benefits can be generated from 
wildlife-related ecotourism and hunting and report that elk quickly became a key tourist 
attraction. Elk viewing is a popular activity and is compatible with other recreational activities 
in southeast Missouri. Elk viewing areas and/or educational centers have been established in 
other states and thousands of visitors generate considerable revenue for local economies. 

Elk hunting is popular in eastern states with successfiil restoration programs. In 2009, more than 
6,000 individuals applied for an elk permit in Arkansas and over 46,000 appUed for an elk tag in 
Kentucky. In both states, special festivals and sporting events coincide with the annual permit 
drawings and the fall hunting season. Elk hunting contributes to local economies through the 
purchase of food, lodging, transportation, guide services, suppUes, and land leasing. A 2007 
Kentucky study found the average spent by those who either scouted and/or hunted for elk was 
$1,148. 

PARTNERSHIPS: Woodland and glade management (i.e. timber harvest, woodland thinning, 
and landscape-scale prescribed burning) during the last 15 years and green -browse management 
have significantly improved this landscape for elk. The Department continues to manage and 
improve woodland, glade, and forest habitats and existing green-browse plots on Department 
land for wildhfe. In addition, the plan proposes to develop cooperative open land habitat 
management plans with other state, federal, non-governmental organizations, and those 
landowners interested in managing land for elk. 

The estimated cost for trapping, holding, relocating, testing and monitoring up to 150 elk in 
early 201 1 is approximately $41 1,185. This estimate includes costs related to building holding 
pens, trapping, transportation, telemetry equipment, feed, research/monitoring and veterinarian 
supplies. Total project cost to the Department will vary depending on the number of animals 



released, the methods of capture, volunteer commitment, and possible contributions from other 
organizations. 

The Department will seek outside funding to help share the cost of a restoration program. The 
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has provided financial support for restoration programs in 
other states and has committed to contributing financial resources and volunteer time to elk 
restoration in Missouri. 

The elk restoration plan includes: 

• EstabUshing a well-defined elk restoration zone, encompassing 346 square miles 
(221,509 acres) in portions of Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds counties bounded by roads, 
property boundaries, and other identifiable landscape features (Figure 1). 

• Managing pubUc lands within the elk restoration zone for woodland, glade and 
green/browse food plots consistent with natural community management as an 
overarching goal. 

• Developing cost share incentives for landowners in the area interested in improving 
habitat for elk on their property. 

• Working with states (i.e. Kentucky, Arkansas) to trap and relocate up to 150 elk and 
utilize a "soft release" technique on Department land early in 201 1 . 

• Monitoring the elk population post release to determine survival rates and movement 
patterns with a research project over the next several years. 

• Implementing plans to address elk that leave the restoration zone onto private land where 
they are not welcome. 

• Developing hunting regulations that sustain a viable Missouri elk population within the 
elk zone and maximize opportunities for hunting consistent with herd population goals, 
drawing on the experiences of other state fish and wildlife agencies. 

• Implementing health testing protocols (Appendix A). 

• Continuing the process of incorporating public input into the development of operational 
and management plans. 



Missouri Elk Restoration Plan 

Introduction 

Elk were found throughout Missouri prior to European settlement (McKinley 1960). Historical 
accounts indicate elk were likely extirpated from the state by 1865. Elk is a native species to 
Missouri and restoring native species holds many benefits. Prompted by citizen requests, the 
Department conducted an elk reintroduction feasibility study in 2000. Results of the study 
indicated that elk restoration in Missouri was biologically feasible in portions of the Ozarks and, 
statewide, the pubUc supported the restoration of elk. Due to disease and habitat concerns, the 
Commission suspended the Department's consideration of elk restoration in 2001, and directed 
staff to facilitate additional discussions to determine if concerns regarding elk restoration could 
be addressed. 

Several factors have stimulated renewed interest in a Missouri elk restoration. Successful elk 
restorations have occurred in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania 
with considerable natural resource management, recreational, and economic benefits. These 
restorations have resulted in the development of proven disease testing protocols with no known 
case of diseases being introduced to livestock or wildlife. In addition, a live -animal test for 
chronic wasting disease (CWD) in elk has been developed. 

Since the mid-1990's, significant habitat improvements, such as glade and woodland restoration 
and green-browse management, have occurred on conservation areas and other properties in the 
proposed Peck Ranch Restoration Zone. These habitat improvements have created ideal habitats 
and food preferred by wildlife, including elk. 

A recent letter from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, continued citizen interest in elk 
restoration and questions from Conservation Commissioners stimulated a presentation at the July 
2010 Conservation Commission meeting. The presentation summarized the 2000 elk study and 
provided an update on the issues of habitat availability and the current status of CWD. 
Following the presentation, the Conservation Commission directed Department staff to reinstate 
plan development. This elk restoration plan is based on current information and knowledge, 
incorporating the following: 

1 . A well-defined elk restoration zone in portions of Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds 
counties with characteristics of large public land ownership, Umited agricultural land and 
few roads; 

2. Habitat management guidelines for improving elk habitat on private and pubUc land; 

3. Herd management guidelines including release protocols, population objectives, 
monitoring protocols, actions to address elk that leave the restoration zone onto private 
land where they are not welcome, and hunting as the primary management tool; 

4. Health protocols, including animal health testing and a contingency plan, to ensure 
wildUfe and livestock remain healthy; and 

5. Public input by seeking comments through public meetings near the potential elk 
restoration zone and ongoing statewide requests for pubUc comments, and providing 
information to citizens and organizations. 



The Commission endorsed the consideration of elk restoration based on the following: 

• Members of the pubUc have expressed interest and support for restoring elk. 

• Elk are native to Missouri, having been extirpated from the state by the mid 1800's. 

• An important charge of the Conservation Commission is the restoration of native wildUfe 
resources of the state. 

• Restoration of elk in response to this charge would have recreational and economic 
benefits. 

Elk Restoration Zone 

The elk restoration plan includes establishment of a well-defined elk restoration zone, 
encompassing 346 square miles (221,509 acres) in portions of Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds 
counties bounded by roads, property boundaries, and other identifiable landscape features 
(Figure 1). 

Background: 

Elk are highly adaptable as indicated by the pre -settlement diversity of habitats occupied by elk 
in Missouri (Bennitt and Nagel 1937). The 2000 feasibility study (Missouri Department of 
Conservation 2000) used habitat suitability and potential for human-elk conflicts to define 
suitable elk range in Missouri. Because of agricultural activity, all of northern and most of 
western and southeastern Missouri were excluded from consideration. A defined geography 
around Peck Ranch Conservation Area was identified in the 2000 elk feasibility study as a 
potential restoration site. This landscape was chosen because of suitable habitat conditions, high 
public land ownership, low pubUc road density, and low density of row crops and livestock, 
which are characteristics of elk ranges found in other states with successful elk restoration 
programs (Table 1). 



Table 1 . Restorations in Eastern and Midwestern States. 










Time of 


Number 


Size of 




2008 


Current 


State 


Restoration 


Reintroduced 


Range (mi^) 


Hunted? 


Harvest 


Population 


Arkansas 


1981-1985 


112 


600 


Yes 


16 


500 


Kansas 


1981-1994 


87 


Unknown 


Yes 


15 


175 


Kentucky 


1997-2002 


1,553 


6,875 


Yes 


346 


11,000 


Michigan 


1918 


7 


600 


Yes 


308 


900-1,200 


Minnesota 


early 1900's 


27 


45 


Yes 


8 


55 


Oklahoma 


1969-1972 and 2004 


411 


130 


Yes 


188 


2,300 


North Carolina 


2001-2002 


52 


1,047 


No 





95 


Pennsylvania 


1913-1926 


177 


3,750 


Yes 


42 


700-750 


Tennessee 


2000-2003 


167 


1,047 


Yes 





300 


Wisconsin 


1995 


25 


715 


No 





164 



A similar area was chosen for the proposed elk restoration plan. The proposed elk restoration 
zone covers parts of Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds counties and is bounded by pubhc roads, 
property boundaries, and other identifiable landscape features (Figure 1). The proposed 
restoration zone boundary consists of portions of State Highways 19 and 106 and State Routes H, 
D, and B. County roads, property boundaries, and the Jack's Fork River make up the other 
portions of the restoration zone boundary. This landscape was chosen because of: 

• Suitable habitat conditions, 

• High pubhc land ownership and pubhc access, 

• Low public road density, 

• Low density of row crops and livestock, and 

• Landowner support. 

The landscape characteristics of the proposed 346-square-mile proposed elk restoration zone in 
and around Peck Ranch and Current River conservation areas include: 



Forestland: 206,003 acres (93%) 

Cropland: 222 acres (0.1%) 

Openland: 11,075 acres (5%) 

Land held in public trust or non-governmental organization: 1 15,705acres (52%) 

L-A-D Foundation property (Pioneer Forest-private): 59,712 acres (27%) 

Land held in pubhc trust or privately owned and open to the pubhc: 175,417 acres (79%) 

The interior of the proposed elk restoration zone has only 33 miles of paved road. 

Low traffic volumes on paved highways in the proposed elk restoration zone. 



Much of the forestland in 
the proposed elk 
restoration zone is 
woodland that provides 
excellent summer and 
winter habitat for foraging 
and calving. The open 
nature of the woodlands 
allows light to penetrate 
and develop plant growth 
and the surrounding more 
densely timbered areas 
provide shade, escape 
cover, and area for hiding 
young elk calves (Figure 
2). Virtually no row crops 
and hmited cattle 
production occur within 
the proposed restoration 
zone. 




Figure 2.Typical woodland habitat for wildlife on Department land. 



The 346-square-mile elk restoration zone consists of land held in pubHc trust by the Missouri 
Department of Conservation, National Park Service, and United States Forest Service 
(representing 49% of area). The Nature Conservancy (3% of the area) and Pioneer Forest, 
owned by the L-A-D Foundation (27% of the area), own and manage land in the proposed 
restoration zone and have provided written support for elk restoration. It is important to note that 
both aUow public access. As a result, 19% of the land in the proposed restoration zone provides 
public hunting access. This is significantly higher than other eastern states with elk ranges. For 
example, Arkansas has a 500-square-mile elk range with only 27% of the range in public 
ownership. In addition, other private landowners in the elk restoration zone have voiced support 
for elk restoration. 

The proposed 346-square-mile elk restoration zone contains 33 miles of paved highway and 
fewer roads per square mile than elk ranges in other eastern states. For example, Arkansas' elk 
area has about 2.1 miles of roads per square mile compared to 1.2 miles of roads per square mile 
in Missouri's proposed restoration zone. Traffic surveys from the Missouri Department of 
Transportation indicate that vehicle volume on paved roads in the proposed restoration zone is 
low, when compared to other Missouri highways. In 2008, the average annual daily traffic 
volume on Highway 106 east of Eminence was 245 vehicles and Highway 106, just west of 
Ellington averaged 386 vehicles per day. Highway 19 north of Eminence averaged 464 vehicles 
per day. Highway D, northwest of Van Buren, averaged a daily traffic volume of only 326 
vehicles per day. 



10 



Figure 1 : Proposed Elk Restoration Zone. 




^^ us Highways 


m 


MDC Conservation Area 


m 


l_AD Foundation 


mk 


N 




d 


US Forest Service 




The Nature Conservancy 


i^'f^ Cities Ims^. 


A 




wj 


National Parl< Service 




201 OEil< Restoration Zone 


[ ] County Boundaries 


A\ 



11 



Habitat Management Guidelines 

The elk restoration plan includes managing public lands within the elk restoration zone for 
woodland, glade and green/browse food plots consistent with natural community management as 
an overarching goal. 

The elk restoration plan includes developing cost share incentives for landowners in the area 
interested in improving habitat for elk on their property. 

Background: 

Elk use a variety of habitats, but a mix of forest and openings (dominated by grass and other 
herbaceous plants) is ideal. A common element of elk restorations that have occurred in other 
states is that elk seek out and use open areas (Larkin et al. 2004, Anderson et al. 2005). 
Generally, maintenance of cool-season legumes and grasses on these open areas are most 
attractive to elk, especially in winter. 

Forest management also can affect suitability for elk. Since the mid- 1 990 's, habitat management 
on public lands has created woodland habitat that is conducive to numerous wildUfe species, 
including elk. 

Woodland management involves tree thinning and periodic landscape-scale prescribed burning 
(500 to 5,500 acre bum units) to create an open canopy (30-100%) with dense ground flora 
dominated by forbs, grasses and sedges; a landscape producing desirable forage and cover for 
elk. Management for savanna and glade habitats has occurred on public lands, producing forbs 
and grasses also desired by elk (Telesco et al. 2007). 

Although elk habitat overall has improved in the proposed elk restoration zone since 2000, 
restoration and maintenance of open land will continue to be emphasized (DeBerti 2006). 
Woodland restoration opportunities also exist on other public and private land in the restoration 
zone. A landscape that includes at least 10% in woodland, glades and openings (grassland and 
annual plantings) should be a management goal. The Department will be a key player in 
promoting this management approach. In follow-up meetings with the National Park Service, 
Forest Service, L-A-D Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, all have expressed interest in 
improving habitat for elk. 

The Department will continue to manage and improve green -browse plots on conservation areas 
to benefit all wildlife species. Other forest management practices, such as timber harvest and 
timber stand improvement, will continue as these practices enhance wildlife habitat and sustain 
forest health. The National Park Service has expressed an interest in improving bottomland 
fields (i.e., overseedings, renovating old fields, etc.) in the National Scenic Riverways to restore 
a cultural heritage feature that also provides desirable forage for wildlife, including elk. 

During the open house public forums, several landowners were interested in cost-share 
incentives to create elk-friendly conditions on their land located within the proposed restoration 
zone. The Missouri Department of Conservation offers a wide range of landowner assistance 
programs. These voluntary programs help private landowners meet natural resource objectives 
for their property. Some programs are cooperative efforts with the federal government and 
conservation organizations, while others are unique to the Department. The Department's 

12 



Landowner Assistance Program is a popular cost share program that offers a variety of 
conservation incentives to help landowners improve their property for wildlife. 

The restoration plan proposes establishing special habitat incentives for landowners in the area 
wanting to improve elk habitat on their land. Examples could include cost share for establishing 
a wildUfe-friendly mix of cool-season grass and legumes (i.e. timothy, orchard grass and clover). 
Cost share could be provided for converting existing cover, seeding, lime, and fertiUzation. 
Improving existing pastures will promote grassland health, productivity, and vegetative 
composition. Cost share could also be provided for inter-seeding legumes, natural community 
restoration, prescribed burning, and alternative watering sources. 

The Department could offer landowners in the proposed restoration zone wildlife -friendly 
legume seed (i.e. red clover or annual lespedeza) to inter-seed into existing pasture. Interseeding 
grass pasture will improve grassland health and provide more palatable forage for cattle, elk and 
other wildUfe. Seed could be distributed to landowners at special events to allow one-on-one 
contact with Department staff and to discuss habitat management options. 

The Department is working with other state fish and wildlife agencies to identify fencing 
standards and techniques (i.e. high visibiUty marking, electric fence, reinforcement with 
stabilizers) that will minimize potential fencing concerns. Staff could develop best management 
practices for landowners who are interested in improving wildlife habitat which is compatible 
with livestock operations (Hanophy 2009). 

Herd Management Guidelines 

SOURCE OF ELK, TRAPPING AND RELEASE: 

The elk restoration plan includes working with states (i.e. Kentucky, Arkansas) to trap and 

relocate up to 150 elk and utilize a "soft release" technique on Department land early in 201 1. 

Background: 

The number of elk proposed to be reintroduced the first year will depend on availability, but a 
limited release of up to 150 elk is preferred. Additional releases in following years will be 
considered depending on the status and distribution of the initial elk herd. Elk will be held for at 
least 93 days in the state of origin for testing prior to relocation to Missouri (see Health Testing 
Protocol section of plan for details). After testing is complete, elk will be transported by trailers 
to a holding pen on Department land in the elk restoration zone. Yearlings and adults will be 
transported separately from calves to reduce risk of injury. 

Most restoration programs have used corral traps (Schemnitz 1994) to capture elk or a net gun 
fired from a helicopter, which may be more efficient and cost effective (Jessup et al. 1988). The 
Department will use the most efficient and cost-effective method for capturing elk and consider 
the donor state's experiences with various capture methods. 

Antlers on bulls will be removed (if not already dropped) to reduce risk of injury to trappers or 
other captured elk. The age and sex composition of the elk wiU depend on the source herd but, 
based on other restorations, the likely composition will be around 1 male to 3 females. Because 
few adult bulls will be available, males will be mostly calves (about 3 calves to 1 yearling -adult); 
the female age composition will be mostly adults (1 calf to 3 yearling-adults). 

13 



Historically, most elk restorations have been done by hard releases in which the elk were 
typically transported in trailers and immediately turned loose on a release site (Larkin et al. 
2003). Ontario experimented with soft -release techniques in which the elk were confined in a 
pen on the release site for various periods of time before being released. They found that 
dispersal distances were shorter and survival higher for elk confined for longer periods 
(Ryckman et al. 2009). Based on Ontario's experience with soft releases, the Department 
proposes holding the elk for 5-6 weeks in Missouri prior to being released. One pen design 
Ontario used was circular, 12-foot high, and around 200 feet in diameter (0.7 acres) with a high 
opaque or translucent woven covering as a visual barrier. Ontario held 50-70 elk in the pen for 
up to 16 weeks prior to release. A one-acre holding facility is sufficient for up to 75 elk. The 
holding pen will be located on a generally level, open site with interspersed trees. It will be out 
of sight of public roads to minimize disturbance. The elk will be fed and provided iresh water. 

MONITORING: 

The elk restoration plan includes monitoring the elk population post release to determine 

survival rates and movement patterns with a research project over the next several years. 

Background: 

The Department will closely monitor survival, reproductive rates, habitat use, and movement. 
All elk released will be fitted with VHF or GPS transmitters with mortality sensors that will 
allow quick detection and resolution of mortaUties. Elk locations will be monitored regularly to 
determine movement and habitat use. A sample of calves will be located and marked with radio 
transmitters to determine movement and survival rates. Fall calf to cow ratios will be measured 
through observations of radio collared cows to assess recruitment (elk normally have only one 
calf per year). Measurements of the demographics of the herd (survival and reproductive rates) 
will be used to develop a population model which will track the success of the restoration and 
guide future population management. Determining elk movement patterns and habitat use will 
help guide habitat management and predict how elk will use the landscape. A detailed research 
project proposal wiU be developed in cooperation with Dr. Joshua Millspaugh at the University 
of Missouri. 

POPULATION MANAGEMENT AND HUNTING: 

The elk restoration plan includes implementing plans to address elk that leave the restoration 

zone onto private land where they are not welcome. 

The elk restoration plan includes developing hunting regulations that sustain a viable Missouri 
elk population within the elk zone and maximize opportunities for hunting consistent with herd 
population goals, drawing on the experiences of other state fish and wildUfe agencies. 

Background: 

A high percentage of public land ownership and lack of agriculture were some of the criteria in 
the definition of suitable elk range in Missouri. Experience from eastern states has shown that 
eastern elk behave differently than western elk because of favorable habitat and a mild climate. As 
a result, eastern elk tend to have smaller home ranges and exhibit less movement than western elk. 
With good habitat, which our restoration zone offers in southeast Missouri, an elk's home range 

14 



can be as small as 1-20 square miles, compared to 100 square miles in the western United States 
(personal communication, Tom Toman with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation). 

The Department has developed, and the plan proposes to strictly enforce, procedures to address 
elk that wander outside the restoration zone onto private land where they are not welcome. As 
proposed, the Department will contact the landowner in follow up to concerns within 24 hours of 
being notified by the landowner. Department office phone numbers and conservation agent phone 
numbers are already provided as a public service to citizens. Department staff will use various 
methods, including trapping and relocating or euthanizing elk, to remove them from where they 
are not welcome. 

Hunting is proposed to be implemented as soon as possible after the elk become established. As 
part of the post-release monitoring, the Department will develop a population model that will 
allow prediction of population growth, determination of when a hunting season is appropriate, 
and establishment of harvest quotas that will produce population levels compatible with available 
habitat and public interests. 

Experience from other eastern and Midwestern states has shown that managed hunts are effective 
at maintaining an appropriate population density. In Kentucky, hunters must draw for an elk 
permit inside the state's elk area where most elk occur. However, hunters may purchase an elk 
hunting permit to hunt elk outside the state's elk hunting zone where a few elk occur. This 
combination of liberal hunting outside the elk zone and controlled hunting in the zone has proven 
effective in managing Kentucky's elk herd and serves as an example to consider when elk 
hunting regulations are developed in Missouri. 

Health Testing Protocol 

The elk restoration plan includes implementing health testing protocols (Appendix A). 

Background: 

The Missouri Departments of Agriculture (MDA) and Conservation have cooperatively 
developed a rigorous animal health testing protocol for free-ranging elk brought to Missouri 
(Appendix A). The health testing protocol developed for Missouri's restoration proposal 
exceeds those conducted during previous elk restoration efforts in other states and is based on the 
model health protocol developed by the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study 
(Nettles and Corn 1998, Corn and Nettles 2001) for the importation of free -ranging elk. 

Elk relocated into Missouri for the purposes of the proposed elk restoration must originate from a 
CWD-free state. Potential donor states have a long history of testing elk and deer herds for a 
variety of diseases including CWD. Elk must test negative for CWD, brucellosis, and bovine 
tuberculosis prior to shipment to Missouri. Elk will also be tested for anaplasmosis, bovine viral 
diarrhea, blue tongue, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, Johne's disease, and vesicular stomatitis. 

In an effort to continually monitor the condition and health of the restored elk population, all 
mortalities of relocated elk will be recovered as soon as possible, examined for cause of death, 
and tested for CWD. Additionally, any un-coUared elk mortalities that are reported by the public 
or Department personnel will be investigated. 

15 



An animal health contingency plan has already been developed. In 2002, the Missouri 
Departments of Conservation, Agriculture, and Health and Senior Services formed a Cervid 
Health Committee to manage the risk associated with CWD. In 2003, the group developed a 
multi-agency contingency plan in the event that CWD was found in Missouri. This contingency 
plan has been effective by facilitating a swift response to the discovery of a CWD -positive deer 
in a captive facility in north Missouri early in 2010. 

Other states with successfiil elk restoration projects have followed similar health protocols that 
have resulted in no cases of disease transmission to livestock or wildlife. A key point is that the 
proposed health testing protocol is more stringent/ restrictive than animal movement protocols 
currently required to move livestock or captive elk into Missouri. 

Public Input 

The elk restoration plan includes a continuous process of incorporating public input into the 
development of operational and management plans. 

Background: 

The Department continues a long history of obtaining public input into management efforts using 
a variety of public involvement techniques. During the 2010 elk restoration pubhc input process, 
the Department met with a variety of stakeholders (e.g. Conservation Federation of Missouri, 
Missouri Cattleman's Association, Missouri Forest Products Association, Soil and Water 
Conservation Districts, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Missouri Farm Bureau, Ozark Private 
Property Rights Congress, elected officials, etc.), engaged in one-on-one meetings with 
landowners in the proposed elk restoration area, responded to written correspondence and 
electronic media requests from members of the public (e.g. email, Facebook, and web 
comments), and held three public open house forums. Two articles on elk restoration were 
printed in the August and September issues of the Missouri Conservationist as well as several 
news releases that prompted citizens to contact the Department with input on elk restoration. All 
comments were recorded into one database for analysis. 

The open house public forum is an alternative to a formal public meeting and utilizes a series of 
stations where subject matter experts are available to answer questions and receive comments 
from attendees. Elk restoration open house public forums were conducted in each of the three 
counties within the proposed elk restoration zone to ensure residents of those counties had an 
opportunity to learn more about elk restoration in Missouri and provide comments. The three 
pubhc forums were held between 5:00-8:00 PM on the following dates: August 23, Carter 
County - Van Buren High School; August 24, Shannon County - Eminence High School; and 
August 26, Reynolds County - Ellington High School. 

Eight stations were set up at each open house with information on a variety of elk restoration 
topics. Department staff attended 6 of the 8 stations and were available to answer questions from 
the pubhc; station 5 on animal health was also attended by Missouri Department of Agriculture 
(MDA) staff The eight stations were: 

1 . Welcome: Everyone was greeted and provided an information packet that included an 
"Elk Restoration in Missouri" fact sheet, a layout of the meeting with names of the 

16 



stations, a comment card printed on cardstock that was color coded for each location, and 
a pen. 

2. Elk Restoration in Missouri: Highhghted a continuous loop video on elk restoration 
featuring MDC Resource Scientist, Dr. Lonnie Hansen, obtained from the Department 
website and also available on YouTube. 

3. Proposed Elk Restoration Zone: A map was displayed depicting the elk restoration 
zone proposed during the elk restoration report provided to the Commission in 2000. 

4. Elk and Wildlife Management: Provided information on potential property damage 
concerns and potential for vehicle collisions. 

5. Elk and Animal Health: Missouri Department of Agriculture staff including Dr. Taylor 
Woods, State Veterinarian; Dr. Linda Hickam, Assistant State Veterinarian; and Dr. Joe 
Baker, District Veterinarian. Staff from MDA fielded many questions from the public 
regarding disease testing and animal health protocols, which addressed concerns voiced 
by participants over livestock and wildUfe health. MDC staff was also available for 
questions at this station. 

6. Elk and Recreational Uses: Provided information on potential conflicts between other 
recreational uses and management of Department lands that provide excellent wildlife 
habitat. 

7. Economics of Elk Restoration: Utilized the new Department video "Conservation Pays" 
highUghting the economic importance of conservation. Information on economic 
benefits of elk restoration from other states was available to the public. 

8. Share Your Comments: Featured a comment box for attendees to deposit comments and 
laptop computers for the public to enter their own comments. Department staff were also 
present to enter public comments into the computer for attendees. Staff emphasized that 
comments could be submitted via the web at any time. For the pubUc's convenience, 
each station had a box available for submitting comment cards. 

A total of 309 people attended three public forums in Van Buren, Ellington, and Eminence, with 
attendance almost equally distributed among the three locations. The open house process 
provided each person a chance to personally interact with experts on each element of the 
proposed elk restoration, to get answers to specific questions they might have, and voice support 
or concerns in an informal setting in the absence of open public conflict. 

The collective sentiment of staff was that comments and discussions at the open house public 
forums were generally positive, although concern and opposition were expressed by some in 
attendance. A total of 137 comment cards were received at the meetings with responses in favor 
of elk restoration by a 5:1 margin. Concerns expressed were similar among the three open house 
pubhc forums and included forage depredation, damage to fences, and elk-vehicle colhsions. 
Supporters mentioned hunting and viewing opportunities, economic benefits, and restoration of a 
native species as positive elements of an elk restoration. 

During the open house public meeting forums, staff, and local citizens were actively engaged in 
conversations about elk as well as other conservation opportunities (e.g. private land assistance). 

Media outlets were represented at the forums. KTVS TV of Cape Girardeau featuring a segment 
on a morning news story. Several newspapers featured stories on the project including: Rural 
Missouri (monthly magazine of Missouri's electrical cooperatives), Reynolds County Courier, 

17 



Ellington; Shannon County Current Wave, Eminence; Daily American Republic, Poplar Bluff; 
Summersville Beacon; River Hills Traveler (monthly magazine); and the Mountain View 
Standard. Radio coverage included National PubUc Radio and the local station in West Plains. 

In addition to the three public open house meeting forums, public input was also obtained via 
internet, email, comment cards from the Missouri State Fair, letters or phone calls, and personal 
contacts by employees of the Department. A total of 2,704 comments were received during the 
period July 15 - September 30, with comments in favor of elk restoration by a 4:lmargin. In a 
comprehensive statewide survey done in 2000, results also indicated the majority of the citizens 
were in favor of elk restoration. 

The comments for which residency could be determined within the proposed elk restoration zone 
(Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds counties) were 3:1 in favor of elk restoration. Those in favor of 
elk restoration mentioned hunting and viewing opportunities, economic benefits, and restoration 
of a native species as positive elements of an elk restoration. Those opposed to elk restoration 
most often cited private property damage, elk-vehicle coUisions, disease concerns, and 
restoration costs. 

The comment period offered an opportunity to interact with the public and allowed interested 
citizens input for those incUned to state an opinion on elk restoration in Missouri. Concerns were 
similar to those expressed in 2000. PubUc input received during the last three months suggests 
support for elk restoration in Missouri, but urged the Department to address concerns expressed 
by citizens. Successful management of Missouri's natural resources involves a partnership with 
interested citizens and acknowledgement that input will be used to guide conservation 
management decisions. During the public comment period the Department listened to those 
directly affected as well as those not in the affected area. This input is critical for shaping 
Department objectives for elk restoration. 

Recreational and Economic Benefits and Partnerships: 

RECREATIONAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS: Experience from other states such as 
Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky indicate that considerable economic benefits can be 
generated from wildUfe-related tourism and hunting (Lord et al. 2000, Fermata Inc. 2002, Rocky 
Mountain Elk Foundation and Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development 
Association 2007). Elk hunting is an important recreational activity. According to the National 
Hunting and Fishing survey and generates about one billion dollars ($1B) annually to the U.S. 
economy (Wagner, 2008). Eastern states that have restored elk, such as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, 
and Arkansas, report elk quickly became a key tourist attraction. Elk viewing areas have been 
estabUshed in other states and thousands of visitors generate considerable revenue for local 
economies. 

Elk hunting is popular in eastern states with successful restoration programs. In 2009, more than 
6,000 individuals applied for an elk permit in Arkansas and over 46,000 appUed for an elk tag in 
Kentucky. In both states, special festivals and sporting events coincide with the annual permit 
drawings and the fall hunting season. Elk hunting contributes to local economies through the 
purchase of food, lodging, transportation, guide services, suppUes, and land leasing. A 2007 
Kentucky study found the average spent by those who either scouted and/or hunted for elk was 
$1,148. 

18 



PARTNERSHIPS: The Department will seek outside funding to help pay for a restoration 
program. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has provided financial support for restoration 
programs in other states and has committed to contributing to elk restoration in Missouri. 
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation members have also expressed an interest in volunteering to 
assist with elk restoration. 

RESTORATION COSTS: The estimated cost for trapping, holding, relocating, testing, and 
monitoring up to 150 elk in early 201 1 is approximately $41 1,185 (Table 2). Exact costs depend 
on the number of animals released and the methods of capture. The Rocky Mountain Elk 
Foundation has also indicated a willingness to volunteer with many aspects of the elk restoration 
program and have been a tremendous partner particularly in Kentucky where they have 
supported elk restoration by donating over $1.4 million to the program. 



19 



Table 2. Draft Elk Restoration Budget for FY2011 based on release of 150 elk in Spring 
2011. 

Capture and hold 150 elk in donor state 

Capture costs - helicopter with net gun $ 1 50,000 

Holding pen for multiple state use $40,000 

Feed $13,950 

Disease test (testing in donor state & Mo) $ 1 1 ,250 

Care of elk $3,120 

Transport and hold 150 elk in Missouri 

Holding pens - 2*** $10,000 

Portable hydrauhc squeeze chute $12,000 

Water tanks -2 $1,100 

Transport elk $ 1 ,500 

Feed $5,250 

Total cost to import elk $248,170 

Monitor demographics and movement 

VHS transmitters - 125 @ $250 $31,250 

GPS/Argos transmitters - 25 @ $3200 $80,000 

Argos download fees - $25/month/elk - 3 months $1,875 

PhD student - 1 semester $9,750 

MS student - 1 semester $8,500* 

Hourly employee - 1 @ $12/hr - 3 months $6,240 

Hourly employees - 2 @ $ 1 0/hr - 3 months $ 1 0,400 

Miscellaneous equipment/supplies $5,000 

Total cost to monitor elk $153,015 

Elk population management 

Miscellaneous equipment/supplies $10,000 

Total for elk population management $10,000 

Total restoration costs - FY2011 $411,185 



20 



Literature Cited 

Anderson, D.P., M.G. Turner, J.D. Forester, J. Zhu, M.S. Boyce, H. Beyer, L. Stowell. 2005. 
Scale-dependent summer resource selection by reintroduced elk in Wisconsin, USA. 
Journal of Wildlife Management 69:298-310. 

Bennitt, R., and W.O. Nagel. 1937. A survey of the resident game and fLirbearers of Missouri. 
University of Missouri Studies, Quarterly of Research 12:1-215. 

Corn, J.L., and V.F. Nettles. 2001. Health Protocol for translocation of free -ranging elk. Journal 
of Wildhfe Diseases 37:413-426. 

DeBerti, J.M. 2006. Management plan for elk in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Game Commission. 
41pp. 

Fermata Inc. 2002. Plan for elk watching and nature tourism in north central Pennsylvania. 
Prepared for North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development 
Commission. 71 pp. 

Hanophy, Wendy. 2009. Fencing with Wildlife in Mind. Colorado Division of Wildlife. 36 
pp. 

Jessup, D.A., R.K. Clark, R.A. Weaver, and M.D. Kock. 1988. The safety and cost-effectiveness 
of net-gun capture of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelson). Journal of Zoo 
Animal Medicine 19:208-213. 

Larkin, J.L., D.S. Maehr, J.J. Cox, D.C Bolin, M.W. Wichrowski. 2003. Demographic 
characteristics of a reintroduced elk population in Kentucky. Journal of Wildlife 
Management. 67:467-476. 

Larkin, J.L., J.J. Cox, M.W. Wichrowski, M.R. Dzialak, and D.S. Maehr. 2004. Influences on 
release-site fidelity of translocated elk. Restoration Ecology 12:97-105. 

Lord, B.E., Strauss, C.H., Tzilkowski, W.M. 1999. Economic impact of Pennsylvania's elk herd: 
analysis of the demographics, pursuits and expenditures of a recreational audience. 
Research report to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Penn State School of Forest 
Resources. University Park, PA. 

McKinley, D. 1960. The American elk in pioneer Missouri. Missouri Historical Review 54:356- 
365. 

Missouri Department of Conservation. 2000. Missouri elk reintroduction feasibility study. 
Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO, 35 pp. 

Nettles, V.F. and J.L. Com. 1998. Model health protocol for importation of wild elk (Cervus 
elapus) for restoration. Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study. 26 pp. 



21 



Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development 
Association. 2007. Study of the elk and wildlife viewing potential for southern and 
eastern Kentucky. 163 pp. 

Ryckman, M.J., R.C. Rosatte, T. Mcintosh, J. Hamr, and D. Jenkins. 2009. Postrelease dispersal 
of reintroduced elk {Cervus elaphus) in Ontario, Canada. Restoration Ecology 17:1-8. 

Schemnitz, S.D. 1994. Capturing and handling wild animals. In T.A. Bookhout, ed.. Research 
and management techniques for wildlife and habitats. WildHfe Society, Bethesda, MD. 

Telesco, R.L., F.T. Van Manen, J.D. Clark, M.E. Cartwright. 2007. Identifying sites for elk 
restoration in Arkansas. Journal of Wildlife Management 71:1393-1403. 

Wagner, S. 2008. Elk Hunting Adds Nearly $1 Billion a Year to Economy. Rocky Mountain Elk 
Foundation Newsletter April 25, 2008. 



22 



Appendix A. Missouri Departments of Agriculture and Conservation animal health 
testing protocol for imported free-ranging elk. 



Animal Health Testing Protocol 

For 

Proposed Elk Restoration 

August 4, 2010 



The iVIissourl Departments of Agriculture (IVIDA) and Conservation (MDC) have cooperatively 
developed the following animal health testing protocol for imported free-ranging elk in the 
event the Missouri Conservation Commission proceeds with plans to restore elk to a weH- 
defined geography in parts of Carter, Shannon, and Reynolds Counties focused around the Peck 
Ranch Conservation Area. This health testing protocol will ensure the health of Missouri's 
valuable wildlife and livestock resources. 

AIJ elk Imported into Missouri for the purposes of the proposed elk restoration must comply 
with the following requirements: 

• Must be officially identified by a microchip and at least one other method of official 
identification (MDC will equip animals with radio transmitters). 

• Must be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) utilizing rectal mucosa-associated 
lymphoid tissue biopsy. 

• IVIust be imported from a CWD-free state. 

• Must have two single cervical bovine tuberculosis (TB) tests done by an accredited 
veterinarian at least 90 days apart, the last test must be within 90 days of importation to 
Missouri. 

• Must be tested for brucellosis, blue tongue, anaplasmosis, epizootic hemorrhagic 
disease, vesicular stomatitis and Johne's disease within 90 days of importation into 
Missouri. 

• IVtust be tested for Bovine Viral Diarrhea-persistently infected by utilizing ear notches 
and an immunohistochemistry analysis or approved test. 

• Must be treated for internal and external parasites in the state of origin within 10 days 
prior importation into Missouri. 

The source herd may be sampled and tested {e.g., hunter harvested animals} for tuberculosis to 
eliminate the need for post-movement single cervical tuberculosis testing. A statistical sample 
of tuberculosis testing from hunter harvested elk in the state of origin may be used to eliminate 
the need for post-movement single cervical tuberculosis testing. 



23 



Tuberculosis may also be included in the serologicaj test panel pending licensure of new testing 
protocols. Chembio Diagnostics Systems, inc. anticipates licensure of a serological tuberculosis 
test for elk and red deer within the next month. 

Upon arrival into Missouri and prior to release, elk must comply with the following 
requirements: 

• Must be isolated and remain in an enclosed area to evaluate health. The state 
veterinarian will, based on test results and health conditions, determine period of time 
needed prior to release. 

• IVtust be tested for brucellosis, Johne's disease, anaplasmosis, vesicular stomatitis, 
epizootic hemorrhagic disease and blue tongue via serological analysis. 

• IVlust be tuberculosis tested utilizing a single cervical test and performed 90 days after 
the last tuberculosis test if surveillance sampling/testing was not performed on 
harvested animals in the state of origin. 

• Must be treated for external and internal parasites. 

• All harvested elk will be tested for CWD and a reasonable attempt made to test all other 
elk mortalities. In addition, a necropsy and additional tests will be performed If 
warranted. 



(ZUH 





Robert L. Ziehmer, Director /^5f. JprTHagler, Direcf)&r 

Missouri Department of Conservation "Missouri Departmet^' of Agriculture 



24